Kicking Ass in the DIY World

Owner Devin Ruiz sits down and talks to us about girl gangs and how to make jewelry that’s both out of this world and down to earth.


Boss Women is a multimedia series by Jacquelyn Moreno where she will be speaking to women entrepreneurs about their resilience and how they shine through with their small businesses.

In the third episode of this series, Stoney Girls Collections owner Devin Ruiz talks about her relationship with her girl gang and nights at shows.

Jasmine Jouvin, Alexandra Tanner, Devin Ruiz, Joei Ruiz, Alyssa Santiago, and Jenn Calderon. Photo taken by Stephanie Godoy

Substance: What were you like as a little girl? What was your childhood like?

Stoney Girl Collections: Oh my goodness, when I was a little girl I talked a lot. I was definitely really spazzy.

S: And you were the oldest?

SGC: Yes, I am the oldest. It’s just me and my little sister Joe.

S: What’s a day in the life of Devin and Joei?

Devin and Joei Ruiz at A Place in the Garden taken by Jacquelyn Moreno

SGC: We’re busy girls. We’re constantly up to something. We both work a lot so were both going on our way to work and we smoke contantly in between so we’re always in the car. Our lives are messy. But I feel like we’re constantly doing something and we have fun while we’re doing it. We’re always together.

S: Do you think that’s brought you guys closer together starting Stoney Girl Collections or were you the main person to start it?

SGC: Yeah, actually, it’s just me. I make all the jewels, but I do have Joei and my friend Fer as like my minions I like to say. They help out with stuff. They watch the table and they’re the reason why I get to party at events. You know what I mean? You constantly need someone to be watching it. I don’t like to be leaving my stuff by itself. So it’s cool to have them. They have fun while they’re doing it too.

S: So would you say you’re a social butterfly?

SGC: Yeah, something like that right? I do like to jump around and talk to everyone and see what everyone is doing.

S: On the Stoney Girl Collections website, like on the Instagram, you have a lot of female front pictures and photography. So is there any particular woman or someone you admire that you look up to?

Alyssa Santiago, Jasmine Jouvin, Jenn Calderon, Joei Ruiz, Devin Ruiz, and Alexandra Tanner sit together smoking a blunt. Photo taken by Stephanie Godoy

SGC: I would have to say my auntie. She makes jewelry. She’s the one that taught me how to wrap the bead the way I do, and I just kind of ran with it. Then I just started designing my own things. All my team is female. If I’m doing a photoshoot, I prefer to work with a female just because I don’t want things to be posed, you know what I mean? I prefer when it’s like we’re hanging out and you got us. Like wow, you got us just laughing. That’s what I prefer so it’s better sometimes for people feel more comfortable with a female and their artistic energy.

S: When did this start, when your aunt taught you up and until now?

SGC: I’ve been making jewerly honestly my whole life. From friendship bracelets like these ones. Like beaded things.

S: So you started young?

SGC: Yes! I was a little kid. And I remember everything used to break. It was so sad. But it finally ended and I’m getting it and it’s cool. I have to really say thank you to my aunt because she gives me so much beads too. I’ll go over and she’ll be like “I cleaned out my beads, you can have all of that.” Then I’d be like “Oh, thank you!” She would show me where my spots are.

S: What do you mean by spots? Like your strong suits?

SGC: Like where I go by my beads and stuff.

S: Oh right. Where is that at?

SGC: It’s in L.A. in the Jewelry District. I have a few places where I just have found things. I recently started a rock class. It’s called Lapidary. What I do there is I go to the beach and find rocks. I wish I brought them, I’m so silly. And I go to this class and I’ll spend four hours cutting it and shaping it and seeing what the hell it turns into.

Devin Ruiz in her handmade beach rocks shaped by herself.

S: That’s so cool. What tools do you use to shape those?

SGC: Oh my God, it’s so many different saws. Shout out to my friend Sarah for teaching me about this class. So she’s amazing too. I’ve looked up to her because she makes plugs that are crazy.

S: Out of like the crystals?

SGC: Yeah. It’s crazy.

S: That’s so eco-friendly. You’re reusing everything.

SGC: Exactly. I prefer to find it on the floor and then like, “I found this and I turned it into this”.

S: Yeah, so let’s get into what does inspire you? How do you get your ideas?

SGC: I feel like not to be weird or anything, but they come to me in dreams. Is that weird?

S: No dude, my dreams tell me things. I’ll wake up and it’ll happen.

SGC: Today I had the craziest- this is so off topic, but I had the craziest dream. I was in this big giant house and it was just raining and everything was wet. I was like, “The ceiling is there, why is it raining?” It was just crazy. I don’t know.

S: See, then I would go and research like ok rain, what does that mean.

SGC: Yeah, like what does that mean? But even my logo came to me in a dream. Oh, shout out to Niko. He designed it for me. He came to me with his first design and I was like, ugh, I don’t know, hold on let me think about it.” And then I dreamt of all my friends, and we were like, “Whoa, a lava lamp.” And it says SGC and I love it so much. And it’s so simple.

S: Is that your only tattoo?

SGC: I have this little whale.

S: That’s so cute.

SGC: It’s the whale emoji. Not the new one, the old one. I love whales so much.

S: So you’re more of a beach person than a mountains person?

SGC: Yeah, I don’t like the cold.

S: I’m more a desert person. I grew up in California.

SGC: I like the desert too. I like Joshua Tree. My family use to go to Lake Havasu a lot. I definitely remember being little and being with my family on a boat. Being in the water and finding rocks and trying to keep them and my uncle had a strict no rocks on the boat rule. And he would throw them off and now I want to be like, “Uncle WTF.”

S: Were you a collector as a kid?

SGC: Oh yeah, I have rocks in my purse right now. I swear I’m a weirdo. I have rocks everywhere. In my car. I just like to keep them because I feel like one day it’ll be something.

S: You’re gonna think of an idea and it’s going to come to you in a dream?

SGC: Yeah, exactly.

Devin setting up at a show

S: So what do you like about selling your merchandise at shows?

SGC: At shows, I definitely like to meet everyone else and see what they’re doing. As soon as I get there I figure out where I am and set it all up and then I’m like ok I’m gonna go around and see what everyone else is doing. I like to see what everybody else makes. It’s so cool that everyone is doing something with their hands. I like to meet the bands. I’m actually hosting a show soon.

S: When is that?

SGC: It’s going to be July 21 at DBA in Pomona. I’m super excited. I have a few ideas. I don’t want to talk to much about it because it’s still up in the air right now. It’s too soon.

S: That’s so exciting. DBA is such a good environment.

SGC: I love DBA.

S: Every time I go, they obviously support local artists too and that’s everywhere in their bar. They have a pretty good selection of beer.

SGC: And what’s cool is they even have art on the wall. It’s everything through and through.

S: And how is your relationship with them? Are they kind of just like, do what you have to do?

SGC: It depends. I honestly didn’t meet the owners of DBA until Alec introduced me. Alec Gnarlord. They’re this nice couple and they’re always there. I believe that their [the ones]Instagram account they run. They’re really nice. I like them.

S: Can you kind of describe the vibe of a show? In general.

Artist Lily Burgos made this flyer of a show hosted by @venusco

SGC: I love all the shows. Recently it’sbeen a lot of backyard things. I love, like my friend does Tiki Trash which is really cool. It’s just in his backyard and they have a band and there’s a pool and there’s people making drinks and vegan food. There’s vendors.

S: Something for everyone.

SGC: I brought my dad once and he’s like, “I didn’t know you were doing things like this. This is cool.”

S: That’s awesome. So tell me about your parents. Do you they support you?

SGC: Yes, of course they do. Through and through with everything I need. They’re crazy, I love them. I definitely get my personality in the way I can talk to people from them.

S: Yeah. You’re super interpersonal. You can walk up to anyone with whatever they’re doing and be like, “what’s up guys?”

SGC: I definitely feel like that’s why I don’t really have an online store because I prefer to meet people.

S: Yeah that’s what I was going to bring up too because I saw your Etsy so you feel like you can connect more with your customers.

SGC: I prefer that because I want to see what you’re doing. I just feel like the internet is very impersonal.

S: Do you ever incorporate your Mexican culture cause I do know you have rosaries.

SGC: I do have rosaries. honestly, i did the rosaries just because i found that pendent and it just came to me. i touched it and im like oh my god this would so cool with the collar type. i need to make more of those. i was just thinking that today. It’s so weird though because I don’t wear it.

S: It’s probably because you’re always up doing something.

SGC: I feel like they’re really girly. My friend Jenn is constantly supporting. She’s always wearing something from Stoney Girls.

S: Tell me about your girl gang. What are the different personalities you see with everyone?

SGC: Joei is fiesty. You don’t want to f- — — with Joei she’ll punch you in the face. She’s small but she’s mighty. I love her. I feel like I definitely do influence her a lot but I feel like at the same time she influences me. It’s weird.

S: In what way?

SGC: She’s really wise. Sometimes she says something and I’m like where did that come from?

S: Like she knows things you dont know

SGC: She’s a hard worker. She’s constantly working. She can hold her own .

S: Even though she hangs out with you.

SGC: Yeah she can hold her own. And Ferr…

S: Ferr is Jenn right?

SGC: Yeah sorry we call her Ferr. Me and her have the same birthday.

S: What day is that?

SGC: August 12th. We’re Leos. I’ve known her since she was in fifth grade. She’s younger than me. She’s growing. She definitely shines in, we have similar things, but I can see where we are different and what I lack she has it.

Jenn Caldero (Ferr) and Joei Ruiz pose with Stoney Girl jewelry on.

S: So how long does it usually take to make a pair earrings vs a necklace?

SGC: It depends. I have simple earrings where I can do them super quick, but the one’s with the more detail like the chain beads, those take just as long as the necklaces. It’s weird how much I use numbers. I hate them.

S: Do you try to equalize things?

SGC: Oh yeah. And I realize I make things too tight for me. So I just add more chains.

S: So maybe a fast one would be about an hour?

SGC: No, more like an hour and 30 minutes minimum. It’s pretty tedious and they’re all the same size. I make sure that they all look the same.

S: How do you prepare yourself like your mind set?

SGC: I smoke some weed and then I’m like ok. Usually I have to wake up feeling it. There’s times that I have to work.

S: You’re a working girl too so that takes up most of your time.

SGC: Yes it does suck, but the money does help. I can definitely buy whatever I want for Stoney Girls and it all goes back into that and I make more money in it.

S: What type of materials do you use? I know you said sometimes shells, but what’s the majority?

SGC: Tiger’s eye, then I have citrine that I use a lot. I have these orange beads that I use a lot that I really like. They kind of look like little peebles. I’m not sure if it’s an actual gemstone but they’re cute. I call them nuggets. I use a lot of beads, people even give me some.

S: So what would be the face of a Stoney Girl? What is your type of cliental?

SGC: My cliental I can definitely say artsy and cute. She has some colored hair and a septum piercing.

S: And maybe even some glasses like Joei.

SGC: Mixed matched socks and some DOCs. (Dr. Martin boots)

S: Where did you get the name Stoney Girl Collections?

SGC: The name came from when I first started smoking weed with my two friends Allie and Emily. We would just hangout and say it’s stoney girl time. If you back on my Instagram I have old pictures saying #stoneygirls and it wasn’t even anything yet, but at the time I was still making jewerly. I would just keep it to myself.

S: At what age was that?

SGC: I was like 19. Stoney Girls didn’t become a things until two years ago when I was just like F — — it. I’m going to make the Instagram account and if I don’t have anything to produce I have the name. It’s always been Stoney Girls. I knew I wanted to make jewelry and I knew it was always going to be called Stoney Girls. To be honest since I started it’s always been steady. I’m constantly doing things. I’m constantly somewhere selling my things. It’s the DIY scene for sure that keeps me alive.

S: Tell me about that a little bit. How many people do you see at shows that are DIY.

SGC: Everything at a show is DIY. Everything. If you really think about it, it takes one to do it. Im throwing a show and I’m realizing what am I going to do? I have ideas of the bands and how I want everything. It’s someone’s vision coming to life in a cool place that allows it.

S: Where would you like to see Stoney Girl Collections become and contribute in the future?

SGC: I would like to be collective eventually as a platform for other girls as people who back them up with so many things like photographers I have one. Or you need someone to make your music video I have one. You need one I got one, she’s a Stoney Girl. I want people to make clothes and even my friends who do hair and makeup. I want it to be a platform for everyone.